So Here we are at the end of yet another manga, this time it’s the so-good-yet-you-didn’t-know-about-it-until-someone-told-you-about-it story Deadman Wonderland. When I first started reading this manga back in 2011 I was initially drawn in by the cool art style and the unapologetic use of violence and gore; then I stayed when I kept being introduced the truly unique characters that this manga seems to have in spades and before I knew it DW was a permanent fixture in my manga viewing rosters.
I think that’s what really makes DW special to me, even though at its core it is a seinen gore-fest it still feels like the authors are trying to tell a character driven story (by making the characters as messed up as possible). Guys like Crow who have machismo just practically squirting out of every orifice you wouldn’t expect to have a crippling complex with women; or director Tamaki who’s a controlling asshole sadist with overblown fantasies not because he’s a cookie-cutter evil dude but because he’s a God-damned OTAKU! And don’t get me started on Minatsuki’s crazy ass…
Though the story of Ganta’s journey through Deadman Wonderland is essentially a short one, DW has some lengthy and somewhat varied story arcs as the Director and other villains place the Deadmen in new and horrifying trials throughout the course of the series. DW’s Story arcs were forgettable not because they were necessarily bad or confusing but really simply because they acted primarily as staging devices for showing off new characters or adding some back story to the old ones, which in turn made everything else going on around these interesting personalities kind of stale by comparison. Perhaps the best thing you could day about the story arcs was that they flowed neatly from one section to the next without clogging up the narrative, though there are a few hiccups just after the midpoint where the story just kinds of abruptly drops things in order to get to the penultimate chapters, all in all I found myself satisfied and jonesin’ for some more Crow and Ganta action (no not like THAT!……though it works out pretty well).
In conclusion DW ended the way it began, weaving a basic and slightly contrived tale around some very dynamic and complex characters. Anyone who’s a fan of in-your-face action, stylish ultra-violence, cool characters and even a little romance can find something to like in Deadman Wonderland. It’s definitely a solid B+ in my book for now.